Lucky's Leonard Schwartz

Paul Wellman

Lucky's Leonard Schwartz

Chef’s Corner: Leonard Schwartz

Serving Up American Classics and French Comfort in Montecito

Tenure: As the GM and executive chef since 2007, Schwartz has reinvented the traditional steakhouse model, expanding the menu to include classic French comfort foods, locally caught seafood, and vegetarian entrées.

Résumé: With more than 35 years in the industry, Schwartz is self-taught, having worked at such notable Los Angeles spots as Maple Drive and 72 Market Street in the 1990s, as well as owning and opening Zeke’s Smokehouse. “The move to Santa Barbara was fantastic. I feel very welcomed by the community,” said Schwartz. “My goal for Lucky’s was to continue its reputation for first-rate steaks while offering a neighborhood spot for a great meal.”

Dish he digs: Market Street Meatloaf on Thursdays. Seasoned with Cajun spices, the meat loaf is a blend of pork and beef, served with sautéed spinach and mashed potatoes in a rosemary-veal reduction. “We have a big following for our meat loaf. I have been doing that dish since 1984,” said Schwartz. “People from L.A. have followed me to the restaurant. It has quite the reputation.”

Room for dessert? The signature Salty Turtle Sundae is made with vanilla ice cream, house-made chocolate and caramel sauce, and pecans sautéed in butter, sugar, and salt.

The scoop: Schwartz reinvents many classic French recipes as part of Lucky’s “Plats du Jour” program, which includes Monday’s Chicken Pot Pie, Wednesday’s Filet Mignon Stroganoff, and Sunday’s Prime Rib. Made to be complete meals, there is no need to order à la carte like the rest of the menu.

“We want our menu to be reminiscent of the food you grew up with,” said Schwartz. “We do not follow fads or trends. From a casual night to special evening, we offer guests consistency, high standards, and the best quality.”

1279 Coast Village Road, Montecito; (805) 565-7540;

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